Quarterly Update on Global Sodium Lignosulphonate Market
For the quarter Ending June 2021
Sodium Lignosulphonate (SLS) market showcased mixed sentiment in this quarter across North America region, bolstered by improved offtakes from the downstream manufacturers. Initially, during the month of April and May, prices kept rising due to supply shortage of upstream in USA. However, prices dragged normalcy in June with improvement in production activities from the US Gulf coast. In addition, in the meantime, manufacturers revealed that their margins declined due to market competitiveness and soaring feedstock cost. Thus, prices of SLS were accessed at USD 805/MT during the last week of June in USA.
Sodium Lignosulphonate market remained firm throughout the quarter across the APAC region during Q2 2021. In China, strong economic rebound pushed up the demand from the domestic construction sector. Meanwhile in India, prices declined during the month of May, under the pandemic mayhem in the country, that reduced the overall consumption of SLS. In May, sudden implementation of lockdown restrictions dented the overall demand from the construction chemical intermediate segment, which later improved during the month of June. Thus, prices of SLS revolved around USD 808.4/MT during June 2021 in India.
European market also had firm sentiments for Sodium Lignosulphonate during this quarter, backed by stable offtakes from the domestic construction sector. The demand from the downstream segments improved week over week, as the economic activities rebounded from the dull sentiments caused by pandemic. However, rising feedstock prices, followed by soaring freight and production cost also remained a major concerned for European manufacturers in the meantime.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
North America had a firm demand for Sodium Lignosulphonate, dominated by paper and food segment of the regional market. Despite plants turnarounds and shortage of the feedstock chemicals amidst winter chills, supply remained consistent and satisfying all the need. However, prices showed a significant improvement during this quarter as the competitive market conditions led it to rise from USD 760/MT (January 2021) to USD 780/MT (March 2021) across Texas, USA. The raw material rates, extended small gains in the quarter but limited availability remained the key price driver.”
Prices of Sodium Lignosulphate (SLS) received firm support from the global uptrend as the product availability from the overseas stood restrained by a combination of factors during Jan-Mar period. Lack of Chinese shipments due to Lunar year holidays was heard tightening the powdered SLS supply throughout Asia which had already been on a bullish note due to soaring freight and currency fluctuations. Demand, majorly driven by the recovering construction sector led the prices to rise and reach USD 305/MT in the Chinese Market during March. Similarly, in Indian markets prices rose by more than 7% within the quarter and hovered around USD 569/MT.
The European market registered low demand for Sodium Lignosulphonate market from segments like paper and construction. Rapid surge in COVID cases and strict lockdown restrictions slowed down the construction activity of the region, even some places faced low production activities due to weather conditions. Traders indicated towards tightness as major European plant went offline, forcing buyers to plan for alternatives amidst widening demand-supply gap.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
Demand for Sodium Lignosulphonate in the Asian market in Q4 2020 increased in comparison to the Q2 and Q3 2020 because of an appreciable increase in demand for concrete mixture and cement segments. As the construction industry regained stability in Q4 2020, the growth of Sodium Lignosulphonate increased in Asian countries like China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, etc. China being one of the leading traders of Sodium Lignosulphonate also experienced growth in its export demand across the region. Even though the petroleum industry was heard under pressure, owing to the oil and drilling activities, prices of Sodium Lignosulphonate have remained range bound.
Stuck by a new strain of Coronavirus, Europe imposed a partial lockdown in November in several part of the region due to which the paper and pulp industry remained closed. Owing to strict trading and travelling restriction and non-availability of raw material, the supply of the product was observed to be negligible. As an alternative, Calcium Lignosulphonate is being used in the end-use industries due to the easier availability of the raw material Calcium Hydroxide in comparison to sodium hydroxide.
A large number of small-scale industries are involved in the manufacturing of sodium lignosulphonate like Flambeau. Due to ease in lockdown, the paper and pulp industry regained stability, and the production of by-products Lignosulphonates consequently increased. Following the ease in availability of raw material, the production of Sodium Lignosulphonate also strengthened. The import of Sodium Lignosulphonate from European countries also increased, and the prices were observed to have increased in Q4 2020 in comparison to Q3 2020.